Document Type



This item is available under a Creative Commons License for non-commercial use only


Geosciences, (multidisciplinary), Physical geography, Vulcanology, Meteorology and atmospheric sciences, Aerospace engineering, Remote sensing, Environmental sciences (social aspects

Publication Details

This was the final team project report for the International Space University Space Summer Program


The World Bank makes a very clear distinction between disasters and natural phenomena. Natural phenomena are events like volcanic eruptions. A disaster only occurs when the ability of the community to cope with natural phenomenon has been surpassed, causing widespread human, material, economic or environmental losses. By these definitions, volcanic eruptions do not have to lead to disasters. On November 13, 1985, the second most deadly eruption of the twentieth century occurred in Colombia. Within a few hours of the eruption of the Nevado del Ruiz volcano, 23,000 people were dead because no infrastructure existed to respond to such an emergency. Six years later, the 1991 eruption of Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines was the largest volcanic eruption in the 21st century to affect a heavily populated area. Because the volcano was monitored, early warning of the eruption was provided and thousands of lives were saved. Despite these improvements, some communities still face danger from volcanic events and volcano-monitoring systems still require further development. There remain clear gaps in monitoring technologies, in data sharing, and in early warning and hazard tracking systems. A global volcano-monitoring framework such as the VIDA framework can contribute to filling these gaps. VIDA stands for “VAPOR Integrated Data-sharing and Analysis” and is also the Catalan and Spanish word for ‘life’. The ultimate goal for this project is to help save the lives of people threatened by volcanic hazards, while protecting infrastructure and contributing to decision support mechanisms in disaster risk management scenarios.